Welcome to Friday Fives, Vol. 279

The Working Assembly
5 min readNov 3, 2023

This week we’re coming home to Netflix, practicing our virtual wave, staying stoic toward corporate humor, illuminating the Nobel Peace Prize illustrator, and trying weird food collaborations.

(THEVERGE.COM)

Netflix and Chill in a Red Envelope

Are you ready to chill at the Netflix House? Bloomberg just announced Netflix has plans to open brick-and-mortar stores where customers can eat, play, and shop in 2025. “Netflix Houses” will let consumers immerse themselves in their favorite shows complete with any merch you could dream of. The plan for the Houses follows a series of 40 different successful pop-up fan experiences in the past few years. The Houses are set to have rotating installations, ticketed shows, and restaurants featuring food from unscripted shows. For the record, Netflix started with DVDs, went fully digital, and now wants to get into the brick-and-mortar space. We wonder what Blockbuster has to say about this…

(BLOOMBERG.COM)

How Long Can We Ride The Zoom Wave?

Do you 🤘, ✌️, or 👋 at the end of a virtual meeting? The “Zoom Wave,” as some people call it, is an attempt to facilitate the same kind of belonging and connection we feel in person. However, Zoom studies from the past 3 years suggest the use of the “Zoom Wave” is decreasing, which may suggest that we are seeking out fewer connections in virtual settings. But this doesn’t mean the wave is dying. According to Brandeis University, we have an automatic reaction to wave back because of motor resonance, matching the movements of others. Even though it can feel awkward, waving can actually promote more cooperation. So, if you’re one of those people who just cannot resist the urge to wave, it looks like the power is in your hands.

(NYTIMES.COM)

Are Companies Trying Too Hard to Be Funny?

Nothing feels more relatable than when our favorite companies roast us online, right? Gen Z is pushing back, wondering whether they’re trying too hard to be relatable. Even Wendy’s, the brand responsible for revolutionizing witty corporate humor, has stopped the sarcasm after being boycotted for declining to join a program that promotes strict labor standards. After all, Gen Z doesn’t consider humor to be enough to like a brand. According to market research, they also take companies’ values and morals into account — much more than any previous generation. With every generation getting more tech-savvy, we wonder what lengths brands will have to go to in the future to relate to younger audiences.

(FASTCOMPANY.COM)

The Illustrator Behind the Nobel Peace Prize

Understanding the ideas conceived by Nobel Peace Prize laureates is hard enough, but one artist is responsible for translating their ideas into graphics. Johan Jarnestad has illustrated over 39 Nobel Peace Prizes for the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, explaining laureates’ ideas through his illustrations. Over the past 13 years, Jarnestad has sat in on the committee’s selection meetings, where he draws and listens. Illustrations have always been at the core of The Academy. Even since their conception in 1739, they’ve utilized illustration in their published journal, but Jarnestad is by far the longest-standing. Just look at his illustrations for laureate Claudia Goldin, the graphics democratize her achievements and make her concepts more accessible to all. In other words, they don’t have to explain everything, but they’re a crucial tool in getting people interested in science.

(CNBC.COM)

Satisfyingly Odd Food Collaborations

We can’t think of anything more appetizing than an unexpected pairing to set food brands apart. With high marketing saturation and consumers’ attention spans dwindling, a successful collab may look easy, but both brands need to bring a unique aspect to the table that will elevate one another. For instance, look at Pringles x The Caviar Co., an odd food mix that organically appeared on Real Housewives and TikTok. Similarly, the mashups by Skittles x French’s Mustard and Van Leeuwen x Kraft Mac & Cheese were shocking yet authentic to both brands. Overall, collabs generate buzz and create urgency, but it’s important not to join forces for the sake of it, or you might end up like these controversial pairings.

A seed-stage venture fund that invests exclusively in female-founded companies, Female Founders Fund, was featured on Bloomberg discussing investing in diverse companies.

Hearth, a centralized touchscreen that makes family organization an easier responsibility, was named one of Time’s Best Inventions of 2023 in Productivity.

Iambic, AI-driven precision-fit shoes that are built for you, was also named one of Time’s Best Inventions of 2023 in Design!

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The Working Assembly

NYC branding agency exploring the intersection of art, design, technology and culture. Partnering with emerging and evolving brands.